Jumat, 29 Mei 2015

INDONESIA MUST GAIN FROM ITS OWN FISHERIES POTENTIALS

 By Andi Abdussalam
          Jakarta, May 29 (Antara) -- With the vast maritime territory and rich fishery resources of the country, Indonesians hope that the government maximizes the development of sea potentials so they can benefit from the marine wealth.
        President Joko Widodo, who was inaugurated as Indonesia's seventh president last October, claimed in December that the country loses some Rp300 trillion annually from illegal fishing activities and that there are around 5,400 illegal vessels operating in Indonesian waters as a result of lack of decisive action taken by the government.
        Therefore, the administration of Jokowi, as the president is fondly called, is focusing its attention on maritime development to regain the country's past maritime glory.
        So far, Indonesia has yet to tap into the potential and is still weak in protecting its marine sector, which has a potential of generating US$1.2 trillion a year in revenue.
        Indonesian food expert Florentinus Gregorius Winarno said in Semarang, Central Java, on Thursday that the people of the country had yet to be able to enjoy the benefits of their marine resources maximally because the largest portion of Indonesian fish was taken by foreign fishermen.
        "Of the entire marine potential, only about 5 percent is enjoyed by Indonesian people," Winarno added.

BI REVISES GROWTH FOR 2015, SETS NEW ONE FOR 2016

 by Andi Abdussalam  
         Jakarta, May 29 (Antara) -- Bank Indonesia (BI) has estimated Indonesia's economic growth in 2016 to be within the range of 5.4 to 5.8 percent.
         This range is similar to its earlier prediction for 2015, which has been revised down to 5.1 percent.
         Previously, the central bank set Indonesia's economic growth at a range of 5.4 to 5.8 percent for 2015 but later revised it down to 5.1 percent. It has now predicted growth of 5.4 to 5.8 percent for 2016.
         Last week, BI said it would maintain its growth forecast at 5.4 percent but would see later whether it needed to be revised.
         "BI is of the view that the country's economic growth this year will at least be at the lower limit of its 5.4 to 5.8 percent prediction. However, the bank will wait and watch whether it needs to review the figures in the second quarter of 2015," BI Governor Agus D. W. Martowardojo stated last week (May 20).
        The BI revised down its previous prediction of 5.4 percent (lower limit) to 5.1 percent on Thursday.
        "In 2015, Bank Indonesia predicts that Indonesia's economic growth will reach 5.1 percent, which is still better than that in 2014 (5.0 percent)," Martowardojo said here on Thursday.
        At the same time, BI also set its projection of economic growth at a range of 5.4 to 5.8 percent year-on-year (yoy) for 2016.

Kamis, 28 Mei 2015

GOVERNMENT CONTINUES EFFORTS TO CONTROL COMMODITY PRICES, STOCK

 By Andi Abdussalam
          Jakarta, May 28 (Antara) -- The government is doing its best to curb the prices of food commodities and to ensure their availability in the face of the Muslim fasting month of Ramadan.
         Additional efforts are being made as costs usually rise during this period due to higher consumption.
         The government will focus on the availability of stock and stability of food commodity prices, ahead of the holy fasting month and Idul Fitri festivities.
         "We hope in this year's Idul Fitri celebration, there will be no inflation because inflationary pressures are usually higher ahead of Ramadan and Idul Fitri. Now, we ask the government to implement necessary policies so that inflation does not surge," Chief Economic Minister Sofyan Djalil said.
         Indonesian Muslims are expected to begin the fasting month on June 18, and it will last till July 16. The post-fasting month will be celebrated with festivals popularly known as Lebaran or Idul Fitri on July 17 and 18.
         To maintain the stability of food commodity prices, the government will introduce certain measures.
         "The government will adopt any measure or policy to ensure the availability of food commodities and the stability of their prices," Trade Minister Rachmat Gobel said on Wednesday.

Rabu, 27 Mei 2015

GOVT GEARS UP TO PREVENT GRIDLOCKS DURING EID EXODUS

 by Andi Abdussalam
          Jakarta, May 27 (Antara) -- The annual exodus of Idul Fitri (Eid) travelers, which takes place about a week before and after the Muslim fasting month, has always created traffic congestions in several parts of the country.
         This year, the number of Idul Fitri travelers heading to their hometowns using land, sea and air transportation systems to celebrate the post-fasting festivities of Lebaran is predicted to increase by 2 percent to 20 million people.
         Land transportation is the busiest means as travelers often find themselves trapped in gridlocks. Therefore, the government has started preparing measures to address the problem before the peak days.
         The peak traveling days are usually one week before and after the Idul Fitri holidays or Lebaran. The fasting month of Ramadhan this year is from June 18 to July 16.  
    The government, through relevant ministries, is preparing measures to tackle traffic jam issues during the homebound and return flows of travelers, who are expected to use both private and public modes of transport.

         The number of travelers using private vehicles is predicted to increase 5.8 percent, while those using public transportation are estimated to drop by 5.8 percent this year.

Selasa, 26 Mei 2015

INDONESIA NEEDS TO PROTECT ITS MEDICINAL HERBS

 By Andi Abdussalam
          Jakarta, May 26 (Antara) -- Indonesia, a major global producer of medicinal herbs (jamu), needs to protect its jamu products in the face of the free trade area under the implementation of the ASEAN Economic Community(AEC).
         Indonesia has developed some three thousand types of jamu, herbal medicines believed to contain medicinal properties that can cure diseases since time immemorial. It also serves as an alternative form of medication to modern drugs.
         The appeal for protecting Indonesia's jamu products was made by producers in the country at the opening of their Seventh National Meeting at the State Palace on Monday.
         According to PT Sido Muncul, one of the country's noted jamu producers, jamu industries hope that the Indonesian government will provide protection in the face of the AEC, which will be implemented at the end of the year.
         "In the face of the ASEAN Economic Community, we hope the government will supervise and protect the country's jamu industries," President Director of PT Sido Muncul Irwan Hidayat said at the Presidential Palace on Monday.

BI CONVINCED ECONOMY WILL GROW BASED ON ITS PREDICTION

 By Andi Abdussalam
          Jakarta, May 26 (Antara) - Although the economic growth is lower than the first-quarter forecast for 2015, Indonesia's central bank, Bank Indonesia (BI) is convinced that the country's economy will grow based on its estimates this year.
         The BI still maintains its projection that the Indonesian economy in 2015 will at least reach the lower limit of its estimate at 5.4 percent.
         The BI has projected that the country's economy this year will grow at a rate between 5.4 percent and 5.8 percent. However, the economic growth in the first quarter was recorded at only 4.71 percent.
         "BI is of the viewpoint that the country's economic growth this year will at least be at the lower limit of its prediction at 5.4 percent. It will be at the lower limit of its 5.4-5.8 percent predication. However, BI will wait and watch whether it needs to make a review in the second quarter of 2015," BI Governor Agus D.W. Martowardojo remarked last week, (May 20).

Minggu, 24 Mei 2015

PEOPLE ASKED TO REMAIN CALM OVER SYNTHETIC RICE ISSUE

 By Andi Abdussalam
          Jakarta, May 24 (Antara) - While the law enforcing and other relevant agencies are still conducting investigations, the people are called on to remain calm over the circulation of rice suspected to have made of plastic substances.
        The appeal to people to remain calm was made by Vice President Jusuf Kalla on Saturday who said that the Indonesian people should not be overly worried about by the synthetic rice issue.
        "I don't know what the rice looks like and the motive behind its circulation. But I think the people should not be too worried," Kalla said at Sunda Kelapa Mosque in Jakarta on Saturday.
         He said that the government was giving careful attention to the issue, studying the causes why the synthetic rice was circulated in a number of regions. "I don't think it is a big problem. If it is based on an economic reason, why should it be using plastic materials?" he questioned.
         Early this week, the people in Bekasi District, West Java, were surprised by the issue of rice containing plastic substances sold at the local 'Mutiara Gading Timur' market.